There is too much gas in the Milky Way galaxy

On April 24, 1990, the Shuttle Discovery launched onthe orbit of our planet is the Hubble Space Telescope, named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble. It is thanks to the work of Hubble that we know what quasars, comets, distant planets of the solar system and even galaxies look like. Recently, a press release appeared on the NASA Hubble website that says data from 10 years of observation shows that more gas was entering the Milky Way galaxy than it was leaving. The reason for this phenomenon remains a mystery to scientists today. The study will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Perhaps our galaxy is stealing gas from its closest neighbors.

What and how does a space telescope see?

Since the launch into space of the Earth’s orbitThe Hubble telescope made more than a million observations. Using two 25-foot solar panels, it receives energy from the sun and sends about 120 gigabytes of data once a week. The reason Hubble is in space is because it enables scientists to record electromagnetic radiation in the infrared. Due to the lack of influence of the atmosphere, the resolution of the telescope is 10 times higher than the ability of telescopes that are on Earth. So, in an analysis of the Hubble data collected over 10 years, astronomers discovered an excess of gas entering the Milky Way galaxy.

And what do you think, for what reason in our galaxy more gas than it should be? Let's discuss this discovery of astronomers in the comments and with the participants of our Telegram chat

Using Cosmic Origins TechnologySpectrograph (COS) through a telescope, the gas moving away from the galaxy appears more red, and the gas going to it seems more blue. This led to an unexpected realization that the amount of gas entering the Milky Way is much larger than the amount that leaves our galaxy. Recall that after the Big Bang, the Universe was filled with gas, mainly hydrogen. Gradually, the force of gravity began to draw gas to the clouds, from which galaxies were subsequently born, and stars in galaxies. Today, scientists believe that supernova explosions push gas out of galaxies. In the vast expanses of space, gas cools, and then the gravity of the galaxy again draws it in. This is how new stars form in the galaxy.

This is what hydrogen clouds look like near the Triangle galaxy.

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Milky Way - a modest galaxy

Andrew Fox, astronomer and lead author of the upcomingResearch believes that our galaxy is rather modest. Supernovae and strong stellar winds blow gas from the galactic disk, but this gas falls back into the galaxy, forming new generations of stars. However, the process itself - which has been going on for billions of years - does not explain why there is an excess of gas in our galaxy, rather than equilibrium. Experts suggest that one of the theoretical reasons underlying the unbalanced amount of gas in the Milky Way galaxy is the intergalactic medium - a mass of hydrogen gas, which is believed to exist between different galaxies.

This is interesting: What is between the galaxies?

And this is the billion stars of the Andromeda galaxy through the eyes of the Hubble telescope

However, some experts believe thatThe Milky Way can use its gravitational pull to steal gas reserves from small neighboring galaxies. Co-author of the study, Rongmon Bordoloi of the University of North Carolina believes that the original Hubble COS observations were made to study the universe far beyond our galaxy. However, scientists analyzed data on the amount of gas in the Milky Way. The value of the Hubble telescope archive is that scientists can use the same observations to study both the near and more distant Universe. Thus, Hubble’s resolution allows astronomers to simultaneously study local and remote celestial objects. According to experts, at the moment the Milky Way is the only galaxy that can be observed using a telescope.